Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 1, 2014 5:00pm-7:01pm EDT

5:00 pm
that situation as well even though they work for the state department. we also worked to help plan for any activities that might be developing in that particular area. we worked with a group to help for example, in one of the areas, and help to provide some of the watch and can vacation when other senior u.s. officials visited the country. >> >> how would that differ under normal protocol for military jurisdiction? deputyas the jtf commander -- >> does it change the chain of command any? >> that's the point i was getting too. absolutely. teamworks for the department of state, and there were no other forces on the ground specifically that we long to us.- belonged
5:01 pm
>> in your testimony that the state department was in the lead, as we just confirmed, for the effort to get back libya on its feet, one of the things that has been encountered in the investigation of the state department conduct in libya is the overwhelming normalization, whether it be the attempt to reduce security personnel at diplomatic facilities or so-called normal levels or attempt to view the government of libya as normal host nation partners capable of providing protection like my colleague from texas just talked about. did you encounter this normalization philosophy during operation odyssey guard? >> yes, sir, i did. >> could you elaborate a little bit on that? >> yes. or instance, there was a desire to create a new normal within , which wasnment
5:02 pm
basically redefining of what i would consider sub-optimal. >> would you consider it hostile? >> yes, sir. ahead, continue. >> the hostile environment we were dealing with, our interaction certainly was not with our interagency counterparts, but the low profile by the american government and the u.s. military in that environment at the time, we were not deploying our forces. there was no marine security attachment, etc., some of the other things you might have seen in place in other areas where consider a normal type of an environment that was secure, and i guess that is what it really how muchn to is security are you willing to -- how insecure are you willing to be and still be present is really what it comes down to,
5:03 pm
and let's face it -- our diplomats take risks every day, but in certain situations, it is always measured risk. when we measured risk in an environment whereby some yardsticks it comes out -- the measurement comes out short, and it seems to be hostile -- you know, if it looks hostile and smells hostile, it probably is hostile. >> you make this worse because we had an e-mail in regards to what al qaeda was looking to do. one, take out the british embassy. the international red cross, and then benghazi, the consulate. would that not have heightened the awareness that we were in a fractional eyes, more hostile environment -- fractional eyes ized, more hostile environment? yes, you just describe it.
5:04 pm
>> this seems absurd to me. are you aware of any operation that was this disjointed in your career? flagrant -- >> in my career and in my operation, this absolutely in terms of the -- no, sir. no. >> you made a comment earlier that the best forces to put our forces there in a fragmented aspect -- that is the best deterrent. without those, are you not inviting an attack? >> you very well could be through your own vulnerability. >> what was africom's role in libya? >> digital mistimed has expired, but you can finish quickly. >> did libya receive any sort of heightened monitoring? >> most certainly. as some of the other panelists have stated today, we absolutely
5:05 pm
watch from a ct perspective, absolutely, as well as also just helping to monitor things going on in the nation and in general. >> i thank the dome and. >> thank you. >> we now go to the gentleman from florida. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. general, can you explain the itnificance of the fact that was not just the intelligence shop, but the intelligence and knowledge development shop? >> yes, as i also provided in thewritten statement, intelligence and knowledge development division was the nomenclature used to identify to shopld be a typical in other. shop on, it became a j2
5:06 pm
but retained a knowledge development peace. knowledge development has more to do with many sources that maybe unclassified open source type reporting, etc. so you are trying to bring in a morelesce comprehensive intelligence picture utilizing knowledge. in a command and in a fear of operations such as africa where a great need for intelligence and information but not many resources to go get it, using open source and other types of things could be your .est source of information >> in that position, you were able to observe the interplay between the military and state department as it relates to those issues, correct? >> the exchange of information, others as well. >> in terms of military response, sometimes people -- we have had other hearings and they said, "we would not have been able to get there in time."
5:07 pm
know youse is once you have been in contact, you do not know how long the whole enterprise is going to last. once the first word that we have problems at this annex, it could have lasted 12 hours, 24, 48 hours, so the idea that somehow looking back in hindsight and saying, "we did not marshal forces, we would not have gotten there in time" -- that just does not satisfy me. am i wrong in that? >> no, sir, i don't believe you are. it's one of the motivating factors for me to be here this environment now, so we do not do this again. >> my thing is you guys are waiting for the state department. the state barton said we need to help these guys. even if you end up getting their little bit late, i think it matters to the american people that there was the effort made and we were willing us a nation to devote the effort -- devote the resources we had to try to save those men. i think it would have mattered
5:08 pm
to those families. it seems to me the idea of the video, this deception that was propagated to the american people -- one, it actually hurt the counterterrorism efforts we have heard on this committee. immediately after, libyans were upset with us because they had tried to take action against terrorists, and we were saying it was just a video and trying to downplay the fact. our own administration said it was a terrorist attack. it actually, i think, brought more attention to the video and gave islamists the pretext to pursue more violence. so you have a situation where the american people, based on the e-mails we have seen in this investigation and the families of the fallen, were deceived about who perpetrated that not -- and we have have not been leveled with about our government response. he spent a lot of time talking about who did what in the white house. that's very important because the truth matters, but even to this day, the perpetrators have not been brought to justice at all.
5:09 pm
if forces really could not have made it there in time to prevent the americans from being killed, then at least we would like to see the administration of then stared death by bringing these terrorists to justice, and yet, to this day, this has just been something that has happened and we have not responded in kind, and i think that that really is something that bothers me to this day. forank the witnesses coming, and i yield back -- >> with the gentleman yield? >> yes. you were not doing operational, so i don't want to get into the operational side, but from an intelligence standpoint, you earlier said that you knew -- and i will paraphrase -- from ae get-go that this was not video in citing some sort of demonstration but in fact a terrorist attack -- is that correct? >> that's correct. it, the deputy,
5:10 pm
the vice admiral, did he know it? >> most certainly. i worked directly for him. your knowledge, did general carter ham know it back on stateside? >> he certainly should have. >> from your experience long time in the military, is it reasonable to assume that the secretary of defense also would have known what each of you in the chain of command knew since he was standing by general ham? >> that's the way it should work, sir. is there any conceivable way that00 in the morning anyone could reasonably be fromting the youtube video the white house or from anywhere in the know in government? >> if they were in the know? relative information that we were putting out, no, sir. >> for someone to do that at 3:00 in the morning stood guard
5:11 pm
time, they would have to either not know what you, your boss, and your boss's boss new and presumably people above him, or they would have to be working contrary to what was known. >> that's correct. >> thank you. to the gentlelady from wyoming. >> thank you, mr. chairman. general, i am late to this hearing, but i had the advantage of your written testimony. questions are a bit redundant, forgive me. caught me ings your written testimony. did not know how long this would last," -- "this" meaning the attacks on nine/11/12. "we did not know how long this would last when we became aware of the distress, nor did we completely understand what we had in front of us, be it a kidnapping, rescue, recovery, or
5:12 pm
protracted hostile engagement." can you elaborate on that? what was it like watching from stuttgart what was happening in benghazi? >> i further went on to say "or any or all of those things." it was a situation where we were very much in the hunt for so we could give the advice on station and the commander back and see -- back in d.c. the best information possible. we were very much on the trail of chat rooms, etc., using the mechanism -- not to go into it too deeply, but using the mechanisms out there for an intelligence organization to formulate understanding based upon facts. that's what we pursued, and we provided that to our on scene commander, the vice admiral, as well as of channeled that and
5:13 pm
sent it across to other organizations so that we were sharing to the maximum extent possible in order to help build that picture of understanding and flesh it out even further. it's not good enough to know what is going on right there. we need to find attribution so that then you can take action. you want actionable intelligence. >> at what point did you know that no assets were going to be benghazi that night? >> it began to become more and more evident as the morning went on. it appeared as though that was to take place, but it even continued on further as we tried fbi and others get in
5:14 pm
there after, if you will, the death of those americans to go into the pursuit mode. as i just described, actionable intelligence is what you provide to an operator. >> and who was making the decision not to go in, not to respond? >> from my perspective, it appeared that it was up channel, beyond the department of defense . somewhere outside of dod we respond to civilian leadership, and that is what we would be looking for. >> normally, those kinds of afterons would be made the military conferred with civilian leadership in washington? >> yes, now we are into my boss's boss's business, but indeed, that would be who he would be talking with. >> and that would be the normal chain of discussion? >> yes.
5:15 pm
assume that those discussions were going on -- those discussions between the military chain of command, the state department, the defense department, and the white house? >> absolutely. state it is can emphatically is because part of what we did as an intelligence -- and alln intelligence organizations, you are looking for what is the next steps are you can ferret out the best pieces of information and fact to help inform so that those operations can be informed and effective. >> in your military experience, what would have been a more in the middle of the night, 3:00 a.m., stutgart ane, when you knew you had ambassador down, and later in the night, you knew you had personnel on the cia, and there
5:16 pm
was an exchange of fire -- what would you have expected in your military experience to happen? >> go, go, go. >> when did it become apparent to you there would be no go? progressed andng we had some people moving at some point in time, they were asked to stop midway through some of their deployments. there was no -- it did not appear to us that there was any momentum behind it. >> how many of you work together watching this unfold -- excuse me, mr. chairman. my time has expired, general.
5:17 pm
thank you. >> i now recognize myself for five minutes. i want to complete that thought. ourow you care deeply about military family. you are one. we have parents, loved ones, -- what would you say to the mother of one of the people that was killed? did we, did the military, did the pentagon, did the united eighth of america do everything it could to save those people? >> i would say sorry for your loss and your sacrifice. ,e should have done more whether it was in preparation prior to or execution at the time. even if we simply just burned
5:18 pm
.as and airplanes moving people we have to have the confidence of the american people that provide us with their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and continue to fill the uniforms and the civilian positions that are so key and so brave as well out there in harms way. we have to ensure that we rebuild the trust -- this is bob lovell talking to you now. we have to rebuild their trust. it's a big part of why i want to be here, because we need to say to them, "we should have done more." we owe it to the memory of those people that are fallen into those that were hurt and wounded . >> could we have done more? >> i'm sure we could have done more.
5:19 pm
>> secretary of hillary clinton whispered, evidently, according to one of the mothers, whispered in the ear said, "it was the video that had done this." is that true? >> absolutely not, sir. >> when did you think it was over? when were our americans in harms way? when were they safe? >> they are still not safe today, sir. >> when did you think the fight was over? >> we are still there. >> that night, though, september 12, while we still had people in benghazi, when was the fight over? >> when the people from benghazi finally made their way back and were extracted back to tripoli. >> your opinion, your vantage point -- they're in libya, was al qaeda on the run?
5:20 pm
>> no, sir. >> what was going on with al qaeda, september 11, september 12 in the months leading up to that? were they on the run? >> no, sir. there were actually affiliates and islamist extremists our responsible for the perpetration of these attacks. >> were they growing in strength, shrinking and strength? >> my estimation would be that they were growing in strength. in number and in capability. your understanding is that , 17 hourstwo, africom before the e-mail, they actually produced a document -- my ranking member and other embers of this committee, the front of the e-mail is stamped "secret," but the second page i believe is not classified. it is not stamped with anything.
5:21 pm
in deference, i am not putting it out there, but what i do hope this committee does, what i hope the american people can see for themselves is what the military intelligence thought was happening there in libya and clearly, they put this out saying -- it says multiple times, i have read it myself -- aqim, and qaeda, this was sent to the state department as the best intelligence that you have -- to the state department -- as to what happened with the attack and what the attack to file might look like if we wanted to counter. knowledge of this document? are you familiar with this document? as i described it, would that be an accurate representation? >> i have not seen the document itself, but i will certainly comment on the information you just characterize, and, yes, that was the picture we were working with. those were the facts we were
5:22 pm
working with. >> my fellow colleagues here -- again, the facts as we know -- military intelligence, sharing with the community and the state department, they believe that it was al qaeda, aqim responsible for the attack. that was the best information. those were the facts as we have them. my time is now expired. i now recognize the ranking member. >> general, first of all, i want to thank you for your testimony. as i sit here and in listening , as a lawyer,ses i can tell that this is something that is very important to you, and i thank you for coming forward. military andt the andwe had to protect them our state department people, and certainly, i agree with in the interest of time, and one of the things that i have done as a
5:23 pm
member of this committee is also tried to protect the integrity of the people who come before us . m, ande had general ham they came to different opinions. and that's ok. but they are probably watching this right now, and i want to you, i'm that just as sure, feel very strongly about your opinion -- i want to make sure that you are saying what i think you are saying so that they are very clear because they are men who have given their lives for our country, too, and so i just want to ask you a few things. it seems like you are saying one thing in response to questions from the side of the room, and another thing in response to questions from the other side of the room. in your written testimony to the committee, you said this -- "the discussion is not in the could
5:24 pm
or could not in relation of time, space, and capability. the point is, we should have tried." but when mr. connolly was asking you questions, you said you were not in the chain of command. you said you were not really talking about benghazi, but about the future, and you said that you agreed with the republican chairman of the house armed services committee who said that the military did in fact try. let me just go through the specific steps the military took on that night and ask you whether they are accurate -- because, again, we have people here who have testified before us and given statements that maybe you have different opinions. chairman mckeon found that our military, including general ham, general dempsey, and others, authorized two
5:25 pm
marine platoons to prepare to deploy. do you agree that this did in fact occur? did that happen? do you know? ?> that they move forward >> yes or no? >> yes. >> second, chairman mckeon found that a special operations unit command to the european which was training in croatia was ordered to move to a u.s. station in do you dispute that? >> no, sir. >> third, chairman mckeon found that a special operations unit in the united states was also region.ed to the you do not dispute that, do you? >> no. >> am afraid i do not understand why you're testifying today under oath that the united states military did not try to
5:26 pm
help the night of the attack, and how do you explain that? >> i did not say that they did not try. >> what did you say? i know general hamm is watching this. i want him to be clear. >> i am not disputing any of their actions or testimony. i am speaking to as a nation we should try to do more. that the preparations prior to the capability and capacity that we put forward in order to deal with situations such as this so that in the future, as we find ourselves out there in an expeditionary government environment or just in places around the world that we have militaryas much capacity and capability as we we canter so that support the people and have their backs in those situations.
5:27 pm
my testimony was not to counter the previous statement -- >> i just wanted to make sure. i just wanted to make sure we were clear. that's all. all of us would have liked the military to have responded more quickly, and changes have been made to allow the military to respond faster. the military did mobilize forces. it did ask, and it did try. youcan see that now that have been presented with the actual evidence. you can agree that they did try. >> i have always stated that they did try and acknowledged that. my point is there is more we should be able to do, and if there is a further line that we if across theds, interagency -- this is spoken about in the way you have described it to me, as a dod issue.
5:28 pm
this is not about a dod issue. this is an interagency issue, and that is what we really need to look at here. thespect absolutely what house on services committee put together, but they looked at it from the dod perspective, and why i came to this body was that i felt it looked more broadly across the spectrum of all the agencies, and the fact of the matter is that is the perspective we need to have so that we can see exactly across the board how we interacted, how we behaved, how that translated and moston, importantly in any situation, in action -- inaction. as we have heard from some of my colleagues here, inaction can at times even be worse. need a comprehensive, across-the-board interagency view so that we can move
5:29 pm
into thoser word next steps. >> again, i want to thank you very much. >> thank you, sir. >> mr. cummings, would you yield for question? i'm trying to understand -- all he units you mentioned were headed to tripoli. none were headed to benghazi. you know that, right? when it comes to what was done for the people dying in benghazi, none of them were going to help them. they were not activated for the people dying in benghazi. >> i asked him what i wanted to ask him. he was very clear, and i appreciate it. >> thank you. we now go to the gentlelady from wyoming. >> thank you, mr. chairman. timeld such portion of my as he wishes to use. >> i thank the gentlewoman from wyoming. to follow-up on the chairman's point and to the point the ranking member is trying to make, we had two teams that in a hammic setting, general
5:30 pm
said can respond within hours. i think the day -- that begs the question why the team went into tripoli, and it took almost 24 hours to get there. 24 hours. these people operate on just a few hours, and yet, it took them just -- it took them 24 hours. i think that begs the question. the other thing is that it's very clear the team was not intended to engage in the fight. that is not what they do. it's not what they are engaged to do. it is not what they train to do. if you want to put somebody in there are other troops in other types -- and other types of assets you would put in, but these people were not put into place to go into benghazi. again, i think the question, this fight started at night. the general just said it was
5:31 pm
6:00 something in the morning before they were able to get out of benghazi. it was so bad in tripoli they had to effect weight the embassy in tripoli. again, did they try to do what they were ordered to do? were they ordered to engage in benghazi? the answer was no. that is the concern. general, is there anything you would want to further comment on? >> no, sir, i would not. >> what about the idea at the tot team is getting ready deploy. people are dead. we are in a fight. why did the fast team have to change clothes out of their military uniforms and into civilian clothes? do you have any knowledge that?
5:32 pm
directly related in, but watch the conversation ensure interim. there was a sensitivity to the impact -- >> what do you think about it? >> sir, at that point in time, some must have thought it was a great idea to have marines out of uniform to go in there. i would want marines in uniform -- x y would -- >> why do they wear uniform? because without saying the word, it is the visual symbol of the united states of america, the marine corps, and what it has represented. we have gotge is them to fight. somebody at the state department wanted them to change their clothes because they did not
5:33 pm
want to go in with the american .lag they wanted to know who was on whose side. it took them an hour later to engage because they wanted them to look better. that is the outrage. do you have any other personal comment? you have been in the military for more than 33 years. if you had ever seen that happen before, how does that make you feel? i do not want to see that happen again. marines aret -- if our choice and going forward, they are in uniform because they are marines. we have other forces that can go places that are not wearing that uniform. >> they were going to tripoli, correct> >> to tripoli. >> they were not even going to benghazi.
5:34 pm
that is the point. i yield back. time, general,y i have one last question. about a gentleman named andrew whoiro -- this is someone is a former assistant secretary of state, former senate staffer to former secretary clinton. played a prominent role in com andout to afri providing guidance with what the military would do with respect to libya. did his prominence seem odd to you given your military experience? he was in a bureau that was active with africa command, especially through our j5 shop.
5:35 pm
his area was influential in that we would certainly need to coordinate what it is we were doing with that interagency partner. did come to the command and interact with members of the command. >> my time has expired. i yield back. >> i think the gentlelady. we now go to the general. >> in your testimony you said now new normal in libya, fractured in many lines. was anything normal about the so-called new normal in libya after gaddafi and could usually elaborate? >> normal by my definition would be functioning government that political process, a
5:36 pm
prospering economy, and a military that is disciplined and able to defend for the defense for the nation. todays we have heard here the libyans continue to struggle with as they move forward. gaddafi itall of becomes more chaotic? >> absolutely. >> could you highlight what you knew beforehand about eastern libya? what were you predispose as far as following intelligence? obviously that was where for a some of the rebel activity at , much about what we also watched in that area was what we would consider the good
5:37 pm
guys and the bad guys, what really were the roles that those forces were in that were militias or others. shop, youre in the j2 are continuously trying to thatify especially forces are not part of government forces. you are trying to discern all ourtime how friendly to viewpoint are those types of forces. we spent a lot of time in the eastern libya as well as other areas around the country because it is so fractional lysed by -- ized by militia groups. some can be interested in their
5:38 pm
community being a safe place to live and prosper and can be what we would consider benign and their viewpoint, but then there are others where we would look at them and consider them extremists, whether they would be islamist history mists or others, so constantly trying to keep track of what was going around around the country, not just even in that particular portion. >> in that portion would you consider a hotbed -- >> a hotbed, absolutely. that is where the strongest part of the revolution came from. normal ceo or someone receiving this intelligence has to put a higher priority on that, right? >> that is one of the areas to put a high priority on in a country, absolutely. >> i want to go back to the accountability review board in 1999 in kenya. we outlined specifics that should be in place. we had admiral pickering, who is
5:39 pm
part of that discussion, sitting in front of this committee earlier. they should have known. if we had followed those particles we would not have had those catastrophe. do you believe that event was totally preventable in benghazi? >> totally preventable? >> yep. no, not totally promotable. we are dealing in an environment -- to clarify my answer. the reason i do not believe it is totally preventable is we are dealing in a hostile environment , in an environment where we are dealing with extremist organization. >> that may qualify that. given the information that should've been normally going up the chain, for somebody to make a chain, this was preventable? >> perhaps not even exposures of and be there. >> zachary. are you familiar with the term -- exactly. are you familiar with the term malpractice? >> i do not want to have it happen to me. >> i'm a dentist.
5:40 pm
america does not understand our jargon. when an executive who is in thege of facilitating standards of the consulate does not make the qualifications, there is a hotbed of activity, they knew there was something come along the lines, that should been friended, you consider this not practice? >> i would go along with that. ? ms. schake?y >> [indiscernible] .is trip to benghazi while i absolutely agree with you that the state department should've been paying more attention to the growing jihadist threat and the growing initancy of militia benghazi, i would not want to take away from an american ambassador the ability to assess the ability to assess the
5:41 pm
risk of his mission or putting himself in harm's way, which stevens did a lot of in benghazi. >> doesn't he also have the liability of those who are surrounding him as well? >> an excellent question. >> yeah. since i was not in the room, i cannot speak to that or not. >> given the circumstances, there is definitely a black? deficienciesot of in terms of what it was happening at the time and leading up to what happened at the time and also thereafter the response. as you know, malpractice is a steep standard. the deficiencies are clear. you, and iall of will yield myself my final five minutes. this applies to all
5:42 pm
of you, but i will concentrate on the general for a moment. general, when i was on active had i did joint exercises, the opportunity to serve with a lot of other services, and they jafu,erms like jamfu and but they stood for joint army air force foul up, not always that way. in your case, this is not about the joint command that is known as africom. this is about interagency. the/11, leading up to with normalization policy, but on 9/11, with the assets available in and out of libya, you had a state department to a certain extent under mr. shapiro, under someone who had special authority for one country with africa, and the near east was run by other people.
5:43 pm
you had one country libya that was being run by different group of people. you mentioned this earlier. they determined that there are not you got to go. is that correct? when you say he got to go, you're talking about -- but if the assistant secretary called theif he had divinity combatant commander and said we need you to put all would youthe target, have been taking action at that command in concert with the european command to begin moving assets toward benghazi sooner? >> from my perspective working i a staff officer at j2, what saw going on and surrounding, it it appeared to me had the state department eight such a request within the authority that
5:44 pm
existed on the part of the combatant commander, they could have done more. >> and within the joint interagency arrangement, you saw 9/11, theg, and after decision did not belong to the department of defense. it belonged to the department of state? >> there are certain things that a combatant commander can do, but a greater sense of interaction and what it is that would happen within that country, absolutely, publication with department of state would have been warranted. >> the vice admiral, general ham, yourself, nobody had the authority to unilaterally launch combatant aircraft and personnel? >> a combatant commander has
5:45 pm
authorities, absolutely. how coordinated they would be by the state department and the executive within our nation, that is where that combatant commander has that dialogue along with the secretary of defense, to ensure that we take the right action. >> basically put a suit and tie on, dress nice, hydro weapons to go in as marines to take a little liberty with the order that was given to get out of your uniforms before going into tripoli. that was a state department decision. that was not a combatant commander decision, to your knowledge? >> i would not think a combatant commander would say that, but -- it is not a typical approach to take with marines if you're sending them in harms way, with my experience. >> with the armed service and if you show a heavy assault rifle , themachine gun, generally
5:46 pm
uniform just emphasizes who you are, because you are showing what you can do. the fasting did have a number of weapons. in your opinion, and i will have you take off the september 11 pat, as a retired military officer who saw the relationship and the arrangements that existed for africa, at the african command, relative to how decisions were made to go or not go in support of americans in way, would use insist on material changes so there could be faster response in the future? very first of the things i would look at would be the capacity and capability that is afforded to the combatant commander that would be immediately at his disposal. that is absolutely necessary, just given the sheer size of the
5:47 pm
continent itself and the number of governments that exist on the continent. the number of countries. so many things can happen on of thoseinent in any countries. and it can be anything from a neoevacaution to the use of power. first and former us -- first and foremost would be to equip as guesses possibly or agree to other arrangements with centcom, and we have finite resources and we are doing the best that we can. in this instance it seems focused on this particular command i would look and say if we are asking for them to do more and to ensure that we have got the backs of all of our americans around the continent and we are partnering with the african partners that we have there on the continent, we
5:48 pm
certainly need these types of resources in the locations proximate to where they would have to be engaged. >> thank you. any other witness have anything else? in that case i would like to thank the witnesses for taking time out of their busy schedules to appear before us today, and we stand adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
5:49 pm
>> more about benghazi from the coming up in at few moments on c-span. on facebook we are asking if tax had been fully investigated. give us a few thoughts at today, aate department spokesman was asked about benghazi in her briefing with reporters. she said the notion of the state department did not do everything possible to protect its personnel is "discussing." disgusting." testified that
5:50 pm
the military could have done more, but they had not been asked to, and that if the state department had been more more interested in having and getting a military it could have and it might have made a difference in what happened. can you respond to that? couplell respond in a ways. first, using the word that the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. when martin dempsey told congress there was not enough time given the speed of the attacks for armed u.s. military access to make it difference. the top military officer probably has a good sense of where our assets are. there's a false premise out there that people have used for political forces, that military
5:51 pm
assets should be less than an hour away cap promoter is the best and work, but that is not how the world works. department about the notion that he could not do everything we can do to protect people that night is disgusting, quite frankly. there were more assets deployed to benghazi that night, including a predator, a marine fast platoon as well. the notion that the military assets that were available were not deployed is not borne out by the facts. >> could it not have been -- could not the state government had made earlier and more forceful and more urgent -- >> what are you talking about, earlier? >> early on -when it became- >> that they? >> yes, in which case when general dempsey said had they been able to get their the it would have not made any difference. had there been a request made just as the attack began,
5:52 pm
with that the the case? >> i'm differing to the secretary of defense of the time. they said from the beginning of this attack, a very fast-moving attack, that we had no advance warning of, we were in communication with folks back here, with folks at dod can other folks about how to respond. theree asset moved, but are not military assets around the world, even in that timeframe you're talking about that would've made a difference. that is right. >> that is what general dempsey said. the retired general said this morning -- >> retired breeder general -- >> still a general, isn't he? you do notaid that know if it made a difference. it might've made a difference. >> i will take the opinion of the nation's top military official, he said there was not enough time for u.s. military
5:53 pm
assets are made a difference. i appreciate this gentleman's point of view and his opinions, but again, the opinion of the military -- [indiscernible] retiredhis general, a or did your general, was watching or was following this in real time -- >> [indiscernible] >> ok. can you see the same thing about general dempsey? >> the top military commander? >> was he following is also in the same kind of real time? >> he and leon panetta have described at length as to what they were doing and how they were following it. they were very engaged, yes. >> the implication and what the committee was trying to bear out and what the retired brigadier general said was that the state department was at fault -- forget about the result whether there would have been enough time, but that the state department had not asked for
5:54 pm
specific help. >> i noted all the different assets that were deployed at process that played out on the ground. i am not sure what they are referring to. i'm not sure exactly why they chose to hold another hearing looking at this when they could spend their time focusing on -- >> is that the kind of chain -- >> the chain of command? >> how does that work? does the secretary of state call deployed assets or did secretary clinton speak with panetta that night? >> there were scored nation between state and events about how to respond to this. of course there is a military chain of command about how assets get deployed and what assets make sense. believe me, the committee was getting at was a notion that we at the state department did not do everything we could do including coordinating with military collects, about a possible response. that notion is not true.
5:55 pm
it is been repeatedly batted down by the senate committee on intelligence, but other committees, but partisan committees, who upheld -- who had held multiple hearings. i appreciate this committee's attempt to continue talking about this issue. really come this nation that they were pushing today has been repeatedly -- >> it is not an attempt to keep talking about. they are still talking about it-- >> instead of focusing on how to improve embassy security and how to work with libya to improve their capabilities. >> this retired general who testified this morning has not spoken to this before that committee. he has a viewpoint, which you just said you disagree with. >> he does. -- i thoughtrating you were saying that committee is wasting its time has better things to do. to thedy wants to get
5:56 pm
bottom of what happened more than the people at stake. my point is we can talk about make a security better. we should hold hearings about that and dogmatic. but laying politics with this constantly and trying to find somewhere, something that they could use for political purposes is not the way to address benghazi. that is exactly what they were doing today. >> i appreciate the -- >> there is a difference. >> i appreciate you want to look forward -- >> i look about how they can better -- >> congress can look backwards, the whole idea is that -- >> and congress has looked accords. hold on, one second. congress has look backwards with nine hearings. ratings.iven 40 6 the senior leaders involved in this have testified publicly multiple times on this. while i appreciate the up union of this gentleman again -- >> who has not testified, right?
5:57 pm
>> the senior military commanders have. multiple committees have come to thatme determination he would not abated of its. >> i do not understand why you have a problem with the committee having this guy does apply to them since he has not and he wasefore watching this -- a number ofe you watching this. my suspicion, and i would love for the committee to prove me wrong, is that they have gathered all the facts based on the nine hearings, multiple briefings, that they are joint use this to continue to make it a political issue. that is my suspicion. with that is you say they have heard everything there is to hear and yet then this new e-mail services. >> which is not an e-mail about
5:58 pm
benghazi. it is not about benghazi. >> [indiscernible] >> it mentions a question. respectfully, this was a preparation for what she was going to do when she went on the talk shows. >> this was an e-mail that had talk lines if you need to draw on them she could. you talk ad nausea him about this. >> [indiscernible] >> there was a separate process for what you would say on benghazi. we have been over that talking point process many times. today's house to hearing and the briefing we just saw, benghazi was discussed on the senate floor. senators john mccain and lindsey graham said recently released e-mails from the white house show the obama administration tried to downplay the 2012 and call the consulate for congress to investigate the benghazi attack. objection. mr. mccain: mr. president, 19 months ago, a terrible thing
5:59 pm
happened in benghazi, libya. four brave americans were murdered, and the issue has never been not only resolved but as each of the last 19 months has ensued, the issue of how and under what circumstances this heinous crime was committed continues, and the senator from south carolina and i, the senator from new hampshire and some others have vowed we will never give up on this issue until the truth is known and the people who perpetrated it are brought to justice. we have seen another page turn in this chapter of cover-up and obfuscation by this administration by the belated 19 months later release of the following emails. first one we will not pay much
6:00 pm
attention to. this is from the benjamin rhodes, who is supposed to be the public relations -- public affairs office for the national security council. in fact, he is obviously the propaganda organ. the purpose, the goals as he states them to underscore that these protests are rooted in an internet video and not a broader failure of policy. i tell my colleagues that that was not a fact. that was not a fact. there was no evidence that these protests were rooted in an internet video. in fact, the station chief before these talking points were made up sent a message, this is not a spontaneous demonstration. to show that we will be resolute in bringing harm to americans in justice, steadfast to these protests to reinforce the president's strength and steadiness, that's all about the presidential campaign. it's not about trying to find out who perpetrated this heinous
6:01 pm
crime. it's not about trying to respond to the people who committed these acts. in fact, because of the cover-up and the obfuscation and now 19-month delay, not a single person who was responsible for the murder of these four brave americans has been brought to justice, as the president promised that they -- that they would. so yesterday, mr. carney says well, that it was -- that this was not -- the release of this information had nothing to do with the attack on benghazi. my friends, i have seen a lot of strange things in my time, but that has to be the most bizarre statement that i have ever observed. this is all about a presidential campaign. this is all about an effort to convince the american people that the president of the united
6:02 pm
states had everything under control. the next day after the sunday talk show, susan rice said al qaeda has been decimated, false, that the embassy was safe and stable and secure, false, and of course the whole issue of blaming an internet video lasted on and on for a couple of weeks when it was clear that the evidence did not indicate it. i would yield to my friend from south carolina on this issue, and i will return. mr. graham: okay. thank you. the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: this email -- to remind the body of what we're talking about, this email was released as a result of a lawsuit, not voluntarily by the white house. in august of last year, the house of representatives, the committees of jurisdiction subpoenaed all documents related to benghazi, and basically were
6:03 pm
stiff-armed. senator mccain, ayotte and myself have written enough letters to destroy a small forest to the white house with nothing to show for it virtually. there was a private organization called judicial watch who sued under the freedom of information act and an independent judiciary -- thank god for that -- ordered this white house to disclose this email just days ago. knowing that the email was going to come out, the white house provided it to the congress a few days ago. what does that tell us? that tells us that they did not want you to know about this email, and they talk about 25,000 documents they provided. it doesn't matter the number of documents you provided to the congress. you could have provided us the benghazi phone book. it's the relevance of the documents and the significance of the documents, and the reason they did not want you, me and
6:04 pm
anyone else to know about this email, because it's the smoking gun that shows that people at the white house level -- now, these are people that work for the white house, for the administration -- were very intent on shaping the story about benghazi away from what they knew to be the truth. and here's the problem for the white house. this was seven weeks before an election. president obama had said repeatedly bin laden's dead, al qaeda is on the run, the war is receding, my foreign policy is working. many of us were critical of president obama's foreign policy, particularly in libya because africa daffy fell, -- after qadhafi fell, we did nothing to secure the country. senator mccain and a couple of others and myself, senator rubio, went in 2011 to libya and we said in an op-ed piece if we don't get rid of these militias,
6:05 pm
libya is going to become a safe haven for terrorists. and you have got to understand this about the benghazi consulate -- it had been previously attacked in april of 2012. the british ambassador had been attacked in june of 2012. the british closed their consulate. the red cross closed their office because they had been attacked, and we have got email traffic coming from libya to washington at the state department level saying in august -- saying on august 16, we cannot secure the benghazi consulate from a coordinated terrorist attack, and al qaeda flags are flying all over benghazi. what they did not want you to know was the consulate in benghazi was very unsecured, everyone else had left the town and that the numerous requests for security enhancements going back for months had been denied. they didn't want to you know that because it would make the american people mad that the
6:06 pm
facility was so unsecured in such a dangerous area and people in washington constantly ignored requests for additional security. here's what they wanted you to know. to convey that the united states is doing everything we can to protect our people and facilities abroad. that, to me, is the worst of the whole email because they're trying to convey to the american people the families of the fallen that these things happen but we did all we could to protect your family and those who serve this nation. nothing could be more untruthful about benghazi than this statement that they did everything they could to secure the facility. and the question as to whether or not this email relates to benghazi was the most offensive thing coming out of the white house in quite a while. no one else died. there was an attack on an embassy in cairo with property damage.
6:07 pm
what do you think susan rice was going to be asked about on sunday, 16 september? everybody in the nation wanted to know how our ambassador and three other brave americans died. to suggest they weren't trying to prepare her to talk about the deaths of an american -- three americans, four americans is just insulting to our intelligence, but the document itself tells you it was directed toward explaining benghazi. to show that we will be resolute in bringing people who harm americans to justice, that was part of what they wanted her to convey. no one else was hurt, other than benghazi. so within the document itself, they are talking about reinforcing the view that we will go after those who harmed americans. the only people who were harmed, the four people killed were in benghazi. so that's just a bald-faced lie, that's insulting our intelligence, and it really is
6:08 pm
disrespectful to those who died in the line of duty to suggest this email they would not give us without a court order had nothing to do with the death of four americans. it had everything to do -- mr. mccain: i might add that all of the emails were supposed to be given to the congress in return for the confirmation of mr. brennan as head of the c.i.a. they didn't do that. mr. graham: no. the bottom line here is the goals set out in this email are to try to convince the american people seven weeks before an election we had done everything possible to protect our people and facilities, to underscore that the protests were rooted in an internet video and not a broader failure of policy. i'm here to tell you, and i dare anybody to show you where i'm wrong, there is no evidence of a protest outside the compound that led to an eventual attack.
6:09 pm
i have talked to the man in charge of security at benghazi. the only survivor i have been able to talk to. he told me that when the ambassador went to bed shortly after 9:00, there was nobody outside the compound that would not have let him go to bed if there would have been protesters and they would have reported up to the chain of command a protest. mr. mccain: and the next day, the station chief sent a message there was not, slash, not a spontaneous demonstration. mr. graham: that was the 15th, so i will get to that in a second. so this is in real time. people are reporting a coordinated terrorist attack. there was no protest. the video had nothing to do with this because there were no protests. why was this? they are far less culpable in the eyes of the american people and myself if, in fact, this was caused by a video we had nothing to do with, a protest that you could not see coming. the truth of the matter is this was a coordinated terrorist
6:10 pm
attack that you could see coming for months, and it was a result of a broader failure of policy. why did they not want to admit that. they are seven weeks out. it undercuts everything they were trying to tell the american people about their foreign policy. this is the smoking gun that shows they were consciously trying to manipulate the evidence to steer the story away from a coordinated terrorist attack of the security into the land of the internet video, causing a protest. that, to me, is unacceptable and is clear as the sun rises in the east for those who care. now i will go to this and turn it back to senator mccain. president obama after this attack said the following -- "but everything that -- every piece of information we get, as we got it, we laid it out for the american people." i am here to tell you that that
6:11 pm
statement has not borne scrutiny, that this administration did not live up to this statement. here's another statement. from jay carney. "i can tell you that the president believes that ambassador rice has done an excellent job as the united states ambassador to the united nations, and i believe that -- and i know that he believes that everyone here working for him has been transparent in the way that we've tried to answer questions about what happened in benghazi if you were trying to be transparent about what was happening in benghazi, why would you fail to provide the relevant information, the information that was provided was based on the available assessment at the time? i'm here to tell you, ladies and gentlemen, they have not provided the relevant information. why?
6:12 pm
because the relevant information crumbles the story susan rice told on 16 september, crumbles the story of the president himself when weeks later he talked about a protest caused by video that never happened. the reason they haven't shared this with us is because it exposes the lie of benghazi. and i will end with this thought. you would not know today about an e-mail on 14 september setting goals for susan rice to meet on 16 september to change the whole narrative if it were not for an independent judiciary and a private organization. this white house has stiffed the congress. mostly the media has been awol. but the reason we haven't stopped is because we've met the families.
6:13 pm
to any member of the congress who thinks benghazi is a republican conspiracy designed to help lindsey graham or anyone else get elected, why don't you go to the family members and explain to them what happened? why don't you tell the family members that your government -- the government was upfront and honest and see if they will believe you. this e-mail that came from a court requiring the white house to disclose it is devastating. it's devastating because it shows that three days after the attack, their goal was not to inform the american people of what happened but to shape the story to help the president get reelected. and i hope and pray that matters to the american people, and i believe it does. and i hope and pray that our friends on the democratic side will start taking a little bit of interest, because i can tell
6:14 pm
you this about senator mccain and myself. when president bush's policies in iraq were crumbling, we did not have enough troops and john mccain, to his credit, said that publicly and asked for the resignation of president bush's secretary of defense because of failed policy. when we discovered the abuses at guantanamo bay and abu ghraib when it came to detainee policy, both of us stood up and said the system failed. don't believe it when they tell you this was a few bad apples. why did we do that? i've been a military lawyer for 31 years. it means a lot to me to adhere to the conventions we've signed up to. senator mccain, if there was ever an american hero in the senate, it's him, who's lived through a country that practices torture and he did not want us to go down that road. when we did those things, we were great americans holding the system accountable and doing the country a service. now all of a sudden we're just
6:15 pm
party hacks. i'm here to tell you, what drove us then drives us now. when you ask people to serve in faraway places with strange sounding names and to go out on the tip of the sphere, you owe it to help them if you can, give them the best ability to survive and if something bad happens, you owe their families the truth. just as in iraq, they tried to shape the story in a fashion that did not bear scrutiny. it wasn't a few dead-enders. it was system failure that led to the collapse of iraq. and thank god we changed tactics and we overcame our problems. this benghazi story is about a foreign policy choice called the lightfoot print that caught up with this administration. it's about an administration that said no to additional
6:16 pm
security requests because they didn't want to be like bush. it was a story about an administration too stubborn to react to facts on the ground, that kept a consulate open when everybody else closed theirs, unsecured, believing that ignoring the problem would solve the problem. we have now found evidence of their willingness, desire to change the narrative from a coordinated terrorist attack of an unsecured facility to something they really couldn't control and they did the best they could seven weeks before an election. and all i can say, if the shoe were on the other 23509 and this had been the bush administration, it would be front-page news everywhere and our colleagues on the other side would be up screaming. and it is sad to me that it
6:17 pm
hasn't been news everywhere and it's sad to me that my democratic colleagues in the house in particular have disdain for trying to find out what happened in benghazi. mr. mccain: and the fact is, i would say to my friend, the time has now come for a select committee. the time has now come because these talking points raise more questions than answers. it is time for a bipartisan, bicameral select committee to investigate the entire benghazi fiasco and tragedy and it needs to be done soon. the american people and the families of those brave ones who sacrificed their lives deserve nothing less. my -- my friend, lindsey graham, just mentioned -- senator graham mentioned that -- about the media. i'd like to say thanks. i'd like to say thanks to fox news. i'd like to say thanks to some
6:18 pm
in cbs. i'd like to say thanks to charles krauthammer and the handful of people who kept this alive when the -- quote -- "mainstream media" not only wanted to bury it but subjected it, of course, as senator graham just mentioned, he and i to ridicule. i want to go back for a stoked this e-mail -- i want to go back for a second to this e-mail. in return -- in response to questions yesterday by mr. carney, the white house press spokesperson, if you look at this e-mail and then look at what mr. carney said, it is an absolute falsehood. it's a total departure from reality. how does the president's spokesperson tell the american people something that is patently false? the president's spokesperson, in regards to this e-mail, that says that to show the internet and this protest rooted in an
6:19 pm
internet video, not a broader failure of policy. what was he talking about? do you know what he's saying? he said the rhodes e-mail is explicitly not about benghazi. well, then what was it about? then he goes on to say, the fact of the matter is, there were protests in the region. the talking points cited protests at that facility. they didn't. talking points did not cite protests at that facility; e.i., been gaz each. the connections between protests and video and the video turned out not to be the case. it turned out not to be the case because it was never the case and no one ever believed it. tut was aboubut it was based on the best information that they had. he had no information that there was no demonstration sparked by a video. that was manufactured somewhere. and we -- the american people and we need to know where those talking points that susan rice gave. if you look at that document, he goes on to say, that document that we're talking about today was about the overall environment in the muslim world.
6:20 pm
how cou could he say that and look at that email here, talking about events in the muslim world? he goes on to say talking about susan rice, she relied on her for her answers on benghazi on the document prepared by the c.i.a. as did members of congress. mr. morell has stated the deputy head of the c.i.a. at that time, that he was astonished to hear that there was reference made on all five sunday morning shows that there was a hateful video involved. so mr. carney is -- he is saying things that are absolutely false. the american people deserve better than that from the president's spokesperson whom he should they rely on for accurate information. when the bodies came home and it was a moving event, i was
6:21 pm
there, the -- then-secretary of state told members of the family and have told me that she said we will get these people who were responsible for the hateful video. that was a number of days later when it was absolutely proven to anyone's satisfaction there was no hateful video. and, of course, we still don't know what the final version of the talking points that susan rice used on all morning talk shows, who was the final arbiter of it. we know now that mr. rhodes played a very key role in that. and we need to know who gave her those talking points because they are patently false. and if someone gave her those talking points, then why in the world did that person manufacture out of whole cloth information that were told to
6:22 pm
the american people? mr. president, there's a lot of points here, we get into some of the details, but the fact is that this is a cover-up of a situation which was politically motivated in order to further the presidential ambitions of the president of the united states. that's what this is all about. and that's why comments and instructions were given in this email because the narrative was the tide of war is receding, osama bin laden's dead, secretary rice said at the time, susan rice said at the time, al qaeda is decimated, and the ambassador was safe and secure. none of those facts were true. but most importantly, we have
6:23 pm
five americans who were killed. it's very clear that that should not have happened, would not have happened if proper actions had been taken and most importantly now or as importantly now is the fact that for the last 19 months this white house has been engaged in a cover-up. it calls for a select committee to examine all of the facts and as always happens in these kinds of scandals, the cover-up is equally or sometimes worse than the actual fact -- the action itself, and the american people deserve to know the truth. i yield the floor. >> the general in charge of the commandary's africa told a house committee that the new it was a hostile action. in the see his testimony
6:24 pm
entire hearing on benghazi tonight on c-span at 8:00 p.m. eastern. for over 35 years, c-span brings up at affairs events from washington directly to you, but in you in the room at congressional hearings, but house events, briefings, conferences, and offering house coverage all as a service of private industry. we're c-span, brought to you as a public service why your local cable or satellite provider. u.s. trade representative michael froman said today she hears are making progress on the transpacific partnership, an agreement that would include and, japan, canada, mexico,
6:25 pm
other countries along the pacific rim. he testified before the senate finance committee this afternoon for an hour and a half. >> the finance committee will come to order. for decades, and american trade
6:26 pm
policy has been a story of adaptation and change. in particular, the extraordinary economic changes of the last generation demonstrate how important it is that future trade policies are reformed to reflect the times. consider how technology has to transformed the landscape. in the 1990's an entire month's worth of internet traffic data would sit on a single hard drive that you can buy today for 50 bucks at an electronics store. more than 2 billion people log onto the net regularly. vietnam has a law on its book that calls into question the ability of u.s. businesses to move their data in and out of that country. governments in china, brazil, and europe are considering developing he systems that would effectively build digital barriers to trade that nobody could have foreseen a few decades ago.
6:27 pm
when it comes to enforcing our trade laws, a key priority is forcing officials using to watch out for-- now hackers can break into a company's servers and still data from facilities thousands of miles away. next, a generation ago, american workers and businesses competed against a smaller different china. today the, bolstered by tenaris advantages provided to state-owned and run enterprises, areese government firms able to take entire segments of the american economy out at the knees. they can do so because they sit on seemingly bottomless wells of with hide paper trails opaque accounting, and dodge the
6:28 pm
risks and bar when costs that american companies face. a third transformational change was the and and of unfair policies like indigenous interventions that target our american innovators. and china0's india have limited technical capacity. now they can use technical standards to advantage their domestic firms and extract american companies' intellectual property for their own use. plain andakedown, simple. decade over the previous currency numeration is a major concern. china has made commitments to follow rules when it joined the wto in 2000. when it comes to currency, china is keeping a finger firmly planted on the scale and undermining those commit its. manufactured in
6:29 pm
china and imported to our country, pick any product, and currency manipulation makes it artificially cheaper. that is hurting our workers' ability to convey. finally, unlike 20 years ago, the american people expect to easily find online the information they want on key policy issues like trade. yet too often there is trade secrecy instead of trade transparency. it is time to more fully inform americans about trade negotiations and provide our people more opportunity to express their views on trade policy. read the american people into full and open debate on trade agreements that have the effect of law is not too much to ask.
6:30 pm
stagnant wages for far too many and students with good degrees unable to find high quality jobs while they're saddled with debt. last week's report showing that america's middle class is no longer the best off in the world produced additional questions, responding effectively to the trade changes of the last generation is absolutely essential to instilling more confidence that trade policy will be good more america's working families and bring more of those middle class americans into the winner's circle. i'm going to wrap up by saying has fortunately, america big advantages to work with in the trade area. we have the most skilled productive workforce in the world, one that foreign students want to join. the dollar remains the dominant currency of the global marketplace. with the internet's big bang
6:31 pm
and the boom and high speed networks, the u.s. exports $350 billion worth of digital goods and services each year on what amounts to a new virtual shipping lane. the internet also makes it easier for craftsmen, for example, from fossil, oregon, where i was recently, population 470, or a barbecuemaker from tennessee to reach their customers around the world. so policymakers have a lot to work with. do have classic issues that remain. there are overseas barriers to bring down and eliminate. we have an open market. clearly if you do this right, when america goshtse, we can get more of an advantage out of it than other trading partners. that is particularly good for american products like wheat and dairy and footwear that need to be able to compete on a level playing field. so, colleagues, here is my bottom line.
6:32 pm
the new breed of trade challenges spawned over the last generation has to be addressed with imaginative new policies and locked into enforceable i am byious job generating trade agreements. they have to reflect the need for a free and open internet and strong labor rights and environmental protections. nations don't dismantle protectionist barriers or adopt these rules on their own. they do with reciprocal agreement hammered out through negotiation and america has to establish new rules to reflect today's trade norms and enforcement. we're looking forward to hearing from the ambassador. i want to thank think colleague, chairman hatch. since i have been chair of the committee, he has consistently tried to reach out and work in a bipartisan way. i'm very appreciative of that. senator hatch, we look forward to your opening statement. >> i feel exactly the same
6:33 pm
about you. i think we have a real opportunity to have this committee do its work in the way that i think most people on the committee would appreciate under your leadership. appreciate you holding this hearing and i want to thank you, ambassador, for appearing here today. as you know, we hoped to hear from you over three months ago when the committee held a hearing on the importance of trade authorized. while i'm still unhappy you declined my invitation in that hearing, we're glad you're hear today and appreciate you coming. president obama's trade agenda is ambitious. if it succeeds it will shape global trade patterns for decades to come. if it fails, it will result in billions of dollars of missed economic opportunity for american workers and for american job creators. of course, the president's term is not over yet and the jury is still very much out. even so, i am concerned.
6:34 pm
first and foremost, the fact that trade with the russian authority is not renewed creates a serious and fatal flaw in the president's trade agenda. i do not believe you can conclude high standard agreements that will make congress's approval without t.p.a. i'm not the only one who holds this view. indeed, in recent months administration officials like agriculture secretary tom vilsack, the championship of the council of economic advisors have been quoted as saying that t.p.a. is a necessary component to conclude and implement our ongoing trade negotiations. bassador, i have no doubt in your capabilities or those of your staff. i have ever reason to believe in those capabilities. but history shows us that without t.p.a., your trade agenda will almost certainly fail. that is why i'm very disappointed in the president's passive approach on this particular issue. i am sure you can remember the
6:35 pm
enormous political effort president clinton put into successful implementation of the north american free trade agreement and president bush's commitment to renewing t.p.a. back in 2002. in those cases, each cabinet secretary made congressional approval of those initiatives a public priority. put simply, we are not seeing that level of commitment from president obama when is disappointing to me and i think a lot of others as well. without more effort on the part of the administration, i just don't think we can succeed. in addition, i'm concerned about the president's enforcement record. despite a myriad of clear violations, we have yet to see a single case brought against russia in the world trade organization. this is the case despite the fact that the administration told congress during consideration of pntr that one of the major benefits of having russia in the w.t.o. would be our ability to bring them to
6:36 pm
dispute settlement. i'm also profoundly disappointed that the president refuses to bring a w.t.o. case against india for its continuing efforts to underminus intellectual property rights. india knows better. we know better and we ought to be forceful about this. i think it would help them as well. with regard to india, it exemplifies a pattern of gross neglect within this administration when it comes to enforcing american intellectual property rights. countries are taking note of the failure to act in this area. this is feeding the perception that they can refuse to protect and even actively violate u.s. intellectual property rights with impugnity. finally, i'm deeply concerned about the office of the u.s. trade representative as an institution. ambassador, i sincerely appreciate the hard work and dedication of you and your staff. i have a high opinion of you as you know. i am always deeply impressed by
6:37 pm
the caliber of your agency's career staff and their personal commitment to the work of the ustr. yet despite your best efforts, the agency still ranks dead last in employee job satisfaction amongst all agencies. part of the problem is ustr's failure to effectively may its role as a boat work against other federal agencies. too often during the interagency process, regulatory agencies are just saying no to cooperative participation in international trade negotiations. for example, the department of health and human services that alleged the need for so-called "policy space" resulting in ustr's proposal to simply carve out tobacco products from the negotiations. it was the department of treasury's insistence on really investigating financial services discussion to preexisting forms that resulted in ustr's position that
6:38 pm
financial services should be caved out of our trade negotiations with the european union. and despite the strong support of u.s. agricultural and food processor groups for fully enforcement sanitary chapter, it was the food and drug administration's fear of dispute settlement that resulted in a weaker proposal which excludes certain disciplines from dispute settlement. there is a clear pattern here if this does not change, i am worried that any agreement this administration negotiates will never match the president's rhetoric of concluding high standard 21st century agreements. of course, the history of this administration's trade agenda has yet to be written and there is still time to correct the course. make no mistake, the time is limited. i want to help. that is why i worked with my house and senate colleagues for almost a year to negotiate the bipartisan congressional trade priorities act, a balanced
6:39 pm
bipartisan compromise which will empower our country to negotiate high standard agreements that will get the approval of congress. over 160 leading business and agriculture associations and companies have come out in strong support of this legislation. like them, i strongly believe that approval of our t.p.a. legs will legs succeed in ambitious trade negotiations. that being the case, i'm asking once again that the president redouble his efforts and help us get this legislation signed into law as soon as possible. the political clock is ticking. it won't be long until we lose the small window we have to pass significant trade legislation this year. ambassador, i have high regard for you as you know. i look forward to your testimony today. i have to leave shortly after we begin, but i appreciate your testimony today and will be working with you to achieve a successful conclusion of a
6:40 pm
strong pro growth trade agenda. i want to thank you again, mr. chairman, i'm sorry it took a little longer. >> thank you, senator hatch. ambassador, thank you for your patience. i understand also that you have your family. won't you introduce them to all of us, this is your first appearance. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my parents are in town, abe and suzanne, my wife, nancy goodman, and our long-time friend brenda schaffer are here in town. >> welcome. we're glad you're here. [applause] >> public service is not for the faint-hearted. we really appreciate having family here. ambassador, we have been working closely with you. you have been recently out talking to senators, much appreciated. make your opening remarks and we'll have questions from the senators. >> thank you, chairman, thank you for the opportunity to testify here today on the president's 2014 trade policy agenda. the core of the bam
6:41 pm
administration's economic strategy is to create jobs, promote growth, and strengthen the middle class. through our trade policy, we're contributing to that strategy by opening markets for exports, leveling the playing field for american workers and businesses by raising standards and fully enforcing our trade laws and rights. we're unlocking opportunity for american workers, farmers, and ranchers, for manufacturers and service providers, for entrepreneurs and innovators and doing so in a way that promotes both our interests and our values. the obama administration has made great strides in promoting u.s. exports and creating jobs here at home. we increased exports to a record high of $2.3 trillion in 2013 contributing to a third of our total economic growth. 11.3 million americans now owe their jobs to exports. 1.6 million of those jobs have been created in the last four years and those jobs pay 13% to 18% more on average than
6:42 pm
nonexport-related jobs. building on this success, the administration is pursuing the most ambitious trade agenda in decades with negotiation of a high standard trade agreement in the ace pacific and with the european union. together these negotiations would allow us to access economies representing nearly 2/3 of global g.d.p. last week during the president's visit to japan, the united states and japan crossed an important threshold in our bilateral market access discussions. in doing so, we have identified a pass for the on agriculture and autos, two of the most challenging areas of our negotiations with japan. although work remains to close the gaps, the milestone agreements spurred on by the direct engagement will provide significant momentum to the overall negotiations. through these negotiations, we're working to ensure it will open markets for u.s. goods and services, include strong and enforcement labor and environmentalal commitments. provide strong intellectual
6:43 pm
property rights and enforcement and provide rules on things like state owned enterprises and the depth at all economy. the looking across the atlantic, we will make progress towards an agreement with the european union and later this month host the fifth round of negotiations. building on our success at the w.t.o., in march we notified congress of our intent to enter negotiations on an environmental goods agreements with countries representing 90% of this $1.4 trillion market. we'll move to conclude negotiations on the trade and services agreement and the expansion of the w.t.o. information technology agreement. we're also working to conclude a comprehensive review of the african grorge and opportunity act which expires next year. we look forward to working closely with you to review and revitalize that program. through our trade policy, we seek to promote sectors that are vital to the u.s. economy. in 2013, our farmers and ranchers exported a record $148 billion in food and
6:44 pm
agricultural goods. in 2013, we exported $1.4 trillion in manufactured goods and nearly $700 billion in services. this year, the administration aims to help our farmers and ranchers, our manufacturing workers and service providers build on this record. as the chairman has said, we want to make it here, grow it here, and sell it around the world. the united states is an innovation economy and the obama administration is committed to protecting intellectual property rights so that our inventors and creators enjoy the fruits of their labor. just yesterday we released our 25th annual special 301 report, a tool through which we identify and resolve intellectual property rights concerns around the world. 30 million americans jobs rely on intellectual property and we'll continue to use our trade agenda in 2014 to defend the intellectual property rights of our creators and innovators and ensuring access to affordable medicines and a free and open
6:45 pm
internet. the obama administration also placed an unprecedented emphasis on trade enforcement. since 2009, the administration has filed 17 w.t.o. complaints doubling the rate of cases filed against china. in fact, a little over a month ago, the u.s. scored an important victory on fair access to rare earth minerals that are essential for maintaining u.s. manufacturing competitiveness including in the area of clean technology. and to our ongoing enforcement effort we're leveling the playing field and keeping markets open forage cultural producers, manufacturers, and service providers. as we pursue this agenda, we're committed to consulting congress and seeking input from stakeholders, advisors and the public. we have held over 1250 meetings with congress about t.t.p. alone. that does not include consultation on the rest of our trade agenda. our partners preview our proposals and give us feedback. any can review the texts and
6:46 pm
receive detailed briefings by our negotiators and many have. we are taking steps to diversify our keselowski including opening up our keselowskis for broader representation and launching a new public interest trade advisory he can which provides stakeholders focused on consumer, public health, and other public interest issues, additional opportunities to inform our trade policy. finally, let me say a word about trade promotion authority. the last t.p.a. legislation was passed over a decade ago. much has changed since then. from may 10, 2007 bipartisan agreement on labor, environment, innovation and access to medicines, to the rise of the digital economy and the increasing role of enterprises in the global committee. we believe these issues should be reflected in a new t.p.a. bill and we look forward to working with this committee and congress as a whole to secure trade promotion authority with broad bipartisan support. we also look forward to renewing vade adjustment assistance which helped provide
6:47 pm
american workers with the skills to compete in the 21st century. we urge congress to expeditiously review authorization of the program. in conclusion, our trade agenda will create growth, support well paying american jobs and protect and strengthen the middle class. at their core, our trade agreements include strong enforceable rules that promote u.s. values and u.s. interests. we look forward to continuing our close bipartisan cooperation with congress to accomplish our shared goals and ensure that our trade policy creates opportunities for all americans. thank you again for this opportunity and i look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you very much, mr. ambassador. we're going to be working very closely with you in the days ahead. i simply at this point want to say to all our guests that there are strong views with respect to trade and certainly everyone has a right to exercise their first amendment rights, but i would like to ask our guests in the back in the green shirts to sit down now so that they can respect the
6:48 pm
rights of others and i think it's also worth noting, i intend to ask right now about some of these transparency issues that i know people feel strongly about. mr. ambassador, first of all, and i touched on this, this is going to generate a lot of heated opinion, i think we all understand that with respect to trade. the reason i describe the changes that we have seen over the last generation is that i think it's going to be important on a bipartisan basis to find fixes to deal with those challenges. and right at the heart of that is what i believe is a need for unprecedented transparency on the trade issue. so let me ask you about a couple of specifics on it. first of all, i want to make sure that there is enough time a the public to review transpacific partnership agreement before the president sign it is. can you commit this morning to making the text of a transpacific partnership
6:49 pm
agreement available to the public in advance of the president signing it? >> mr. chairman, we completely agree that there needs to be a robust engagement strategy to involve the public in trade policy and that's why we work so closely with congress, why everyone of our proposals is previewed by this committee among others, why we work with the congressionally mandated advisory committee system and the membership of that committee to be more representative, why we have created a public interest advisory committee and why we have engaged stakeholder more broadly, having events at our grounds of negotiation and broad stakeholder calls and putting more information out to the public about our negotiating position. so we certainly agree on the importance of robust engagement there. a particular suggestion you mentioned, those sorts of timelines have been part of t.p.a. processes in the past. we look forward, we're glad there is a discussion of this beginning. we would like to look at what past practice is on a
6:50 pm
bipartisan, bicam really basis to work with you and the rest of this committee to find out what the timelines are. >> so the public can walk out of this knowing that the text of the agreement would be available to the public in advance of the president signing it, i believe that is yes? >> that is part of the discussion in the past. as i understand, there is a range of practices in the past and we would like to work with you on a bipartisan bicameral to find out what the right timetables are. >> the public also ought to be able to go to the trade representative website to find out what is going on and not to hear about it through leaks and in effect what amounts to a rumor bill. can you pledge this morning to provide a clear and comprehensive description in plain english of the transpacific partnership so the public can be informed about these negotiations? this needs to be posted, again, online promptly and i believe within 30 days, can you commit to that? >> yes, mr. chairman.
6:51 pm
we believe that it's important to have public information out there. we have been experimenting with different approaches. we put out blog posts on investment issues and environmental issues. we published a description of our negotiating objectives, of our initiative recently. we treat from the negotiation rounds. we try and find lots of ways to ensure that the public has information about that. we are happy to provide a summary of the t.p.p. negotiations. >> one other issue on transparency, i'm going to leave this with you because i want to ask a t.p.a. question as well. at your department, there is a point person for intellectual property. there is a point person forage culture. there is a point person for a variety of different matters. it teams to me to giver transparency more prominence, there ought to be a specific person within your agency accountable. you can call them a transparency officer, call them whatever you want. i don't want transparency to give short shrift ever again,
6:52 pm
can you commit to that this morning? >> we have a variety of ways to create transparency at the agency. we have an office of public engagement that is actively involved reaching out to stakeholders and office of public affairs that is putting out information for the public. frankly, each one of our negotiatorers, when they're not negotiating, they're up here consulting with you in the offices or with stakeholders and the public. your suggestion is one of the ideas we should talk about how best to insure that. >> let me ask a question about t.p.a. and the relationship between t.p.p. and t.p.a. it seems to me an upgrade in our trade policy is going to require an upgrade to trade promotion authority. you and i have talked a bit in the past about what i call smart track that i think would allow us to have that upgrade in the trade promotion area, greater transparency, more
6:53 pm
strategic enforcement, a variety of other steps. it seems to me when the substance is right, the time will be right tore t.p.a. and what we want to do is make clear to our trading partners that this committee is taking on t.p.a., that we're going to work for the right t.p.a. we will work on a bipartisan basis to get the right agreements through congress. my question is, will you commit this morning to work with me and the committee on a bipartisan basis to make sure that a strong 21st century transpacific partnership agreement will be met with an equally strong 21st century transt.p.a. agreement so that we can lay out how these two critical trade policies fit together? >> yes, mr. chairman, i'm happy to work with you and this committee on a bipartisan basis and a bicameral basis with the colleagues in the house. >> very good. senator hatch. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
6:54 pm
ambassador froman you're negotiating an ambitious trade agenda, yet the administration does not have t.p.a. authority. this is hurting our ability to conclude high standard agreements which will again gain the approval of congress. we introduced a bipartisan bicameral bill in january which is supported by 160 leading businesses and agriculture associations and companies, a bill which secretary of commerce said will help expand market access for american business, ensure a level playing field for companies selling their goods abroad and support the creation of american jobs. now, if we're going to succeed promotion trade authority this year, i believe that we need to act by june of this year. for that to happen, we need to see a greater sense of urgency and much more public engagement from the president and the administration. now can you work with me and others on this committee to
6:55 pm
helper swayed president obama to make renewal with trade promotion authority a top priority for cal action within the next 10 months? >> senator, we welcome the introduction of that bill in january. we look forward to working with you, with chairman wyded and with the house ways and means committee to, as you pursue your legislative process, to promote trade promotion authority -- >> the president called for it in the january state of the union speech and the next day, someone on the democrat side we're not going to do that. >> we're prepared to work with this committee as and when it's ready to have a legislative process around trade promotion authority to move that forward in a way that can get bipartisan support. >> intellectual property is fundamental to the u.s. economy. i'm very concerned that u.s. intellectual property rights
6:56 pm
are under attack around the globe and that your office is not doing enough to fight back. india has been pursuing trade policies that underminus intellectual property in order to promote its own domestic industries. what they're doing seems to me to be a clear violation of their world trade organization obligations. i believe enforcement action at the w.t.o. may be the most effective tool to get india to change its behavior. closer to home, canada has embraced policies in patent rules that undermine research and development investment, upset the level playing field for the u.s. innovators and of ourse that i believe their actions violate canada's obligations under nafta and w.t. o. now, in your testimony to the house ways and means committee, you spoke about the importance of enforcement.
6:57 pm
you said, "this administration's view has been it's not enough to negotiate an agreement and to implement it, you need to make sure that it is being fully enforced as well." now, you also said that the administration has "brought an aggressive agenda to the w.t. o. " i don't understand how you can say this when this administration has not brought a single w.t.o. case involving intellectual property rights. so my question is. why hasn't this administration brought a single case to the w.t.o. on intellectual property and in particular, why hasn't the administration brought a w.t.o. case against india under harmful i.p. or i.t. policies and what is this administration doing to ensure that canada, the potentiality, t.p.p. partner complies with its current international trade commitment? >> well, senator, first of all,
6:58 pm
thank you for your leadership on i.p. issues and for your encouragement on the enforcement front. with regard to those issues, we remain extremely concerned about the deterioration of the innovation environment in india. we have been raising this at the highest levels and throughout our dialogue with the indian government about heir policies on patents, on couple pulls ri licensing and we have been encouraging them to enter into a dialogue about other mechanisms for addressing legitimate concerns about health care in india and about access to medicines that do not violate our intellectual property rights. india, as you know, is in the midst of an election and a transition. we look forward to engaging with the new government of india as soon as it's in place to pursue this issue with them. on canada, this is an issue we have raised with the canadians directly. it's a subject of litigation in canada. we are continuing to engage them bilaterally and in the
6:59 pm
context of other intellectual property rights issues we have with them as a way to move this forward. >> thank you. my time is up, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you, ambassador, you have a really tough job and you approach it with intelligence and integrity and calmness and so thank you for your service here. i want to talk a little bit about currency manipulation. a by part san majority of the senate and house have made very clear we want strong currency manipulation language included in any t.p.p. agreement. strong language on currency manipulation is a vital first step to have democrat support in passing t.p.p. in the senate. we have to look close at every aspect of the deal. nothing can give t.p.p. a fighting chance of being passed better than strong currency reforms. japan and other countries regularly distort their currency emchange rates to push up trading surpluses with us.
7:00 pm
in the last year alone, the yen has fallen about 25% against the dollar. china is not part of t.p.p., but if we did this, it would send a warning shot that if they eventually want into t.p.p., they have to reform their currency as well and might even just get them to move on their own if they saw we made a strong stand. >> of foreign currency manipulation has cost americans -- 1.5 $1.5 million million jobs, ending the manipulation would reduce the trade deficit by 300 will and dollars -- $300 trillion and newte 2.3 to 5.8 million jobs. it matters a lot. i have long been an advocate in this fight against the type of activity that china, japan, and others do with a and at daylight th


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on